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Sumitomo Chemical Receives the Grand Prize in the 52nd Annual JCIA Technology Awards for its Propylene Oxide Technology

May. 18, 2020

Sumitomo Chemical has received the Grand Prize in the 52nd Annual JCIA Technology Awards from the Japan Chemical Industry Association (JCIA) for its technology that enabled “the development and commercialization of a process for manufacturing propylene oxide (PO) using cumene, which has low environmental impact and is free from co-products.”

The JCIA was founded in 1948 with the goal of promoting sound development of the chemical industry, economic prosperity, and better quality of life in Japan. The JCIA Technology Awards — consisted of a Grand Prize, a Special Technology Prize, and an Environmental Technology Prize — recognize those companies that have made significant contribution to the development of the chemical industry and socioeconomic development through the invention and commercialization of outstanding chemical technologies. Sumitomo Chemical has received the Grand Prize for the development and commercialization of an ammonium-sulfate-free caprolactam process in 2003, and the Special Technology Prize for semiconductor epiwafers made with metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) in 2011.

Sumitomo Chemical's PO manufacturing technology is the world’s first industrial scale cumene-based process for producing PO exclusively, using a cumene cycling method to produce PO without producing any co-products. This technology, combined with the use of the Company's proprietary high-performance epoxidation catalyst, delivers an extremely high PO yield, superior energy efficiency in separation and purification, and remarkable stability in plant operations. These features led to the receipt of the Grand Prize in this year’s awards. The technology is deployed at Sumitomo Chemical's Chiba Works in Japan, and it has been licensed to Petro Rabigh in Saudi Arabia, S-OIL Corp. of South Korea, a subsidiary of PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited of Thailand, and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) of India. Sumitomo Chemical will focus on further expansion of its licensing business and continue to upgrade the technology using the expertise cultivated through its licensing activities.

Sumitomo Chemical has identified environmental impact mitigation as one of the material issues to be addressed by its management. This PO technology also contributes significantly to promoting the Company’s sustainability through its licensing business, as evidenced by the inclusion of the number of licenses related to petrochemical technology in its key performance indicators (KPIs). Sumitomo Chemical will continue to develop new technologies that enable both lower environmental impact and higher economic efficiency, so that it can contribute to a sustainable society.


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